CNN 'reports' below.
Failed to note that Sen. Lott will get a kick-back from the project.
And, that the rest of the Arliegh Burke class ships
didn't get the extra steel.
Didn't even ask Rumsfeld if he plans on continuing
Or, say if the new engine still burn dirty diesel fuel from Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
USS Cole to Set Sail Friday
PASCAGOULA, Miss. — The USS Cole
was poised to return to the open seas, a year and a half after losing 17
sailors in a terrorist attack in Yemen.
The vessel was to set sail Friday after 14 months of repairs with many new features, including 17 stars laid in the hallway floor — one for each of the sailors killed when an explosion tore a hole in the ship's side.
"I knew every one of them," said crew member John de Angelis, who narrowly missed the Oct. 12, 2000, blast. "God was smiling on me."
Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network has been blamed by U.S. officials for both the Sept. 11 attacks and the Cole blast, carried out by terrorists who pulled an explosives-laden skiff alongside the destroyer as it refueled.
The Cole returns to duty with 550 tons of new steel, improved security and a crew that includes about 40 sailors who survived the attack on the guided missile destroyer.
Cmdr. Kevin Sweeney said Thursday that the vessel will return to its home port in Norfolk, Va., but he didn't know its next destination.
Sweeney, who met with more than 50 journalists aboard the vessel, said the Cole was upgraded during its 14 months at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems' Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula. Improvements include two new, 27-ton main engines and 350,163 feet of electrical cable.
The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington says it expects the final tab to be about $250 million — about one-quarter of the ship's original cost.
The Cole is protected by patrols and helmeted crew members posted at guns along the railings. It went through a two-day sea trial last week.
"Everything worked," he said. "The
crew performed beautifully."